As the winter months approach, car owners need to think about how cold affects their vehicles.
It is also important to consider the comfort and safety of the driver and passengers during these months. Preparation of the car ahead of time helps to avoid panic when a sudden freeze happens. Various parts of the vehicle can be affected by cold temperatures, especially when they drop below freezing. The battery, defrost, and tires are all important items to consider. A mechanic can help check items you are unsure of.
When entering a vehicle on a cold morning, this is one of the first items that drivers tend to use. Windows are often covered in ice or snow, inhibiting visibility. Before you can leave the driveway, the windows must be defrosted. Be sure to ask your mechanic to check this system during routine maintenance when the winter months are drawing near.
Many people may dispute the necessity of winter tires, especially in places where snow is scarce. Low temperatures and ice, however, can easily cause complications on their own. Winter tires offer an increased level of flexibility than regular tires when the temperatures drop. This flexibility assists with the traction necessary to navigate the twists and turns of your daily routine. Cold road surfaces can cause unsafe driving conditions before ice and snow ever appear. Residents of areas that receive consistent cold weather should make winter tires a priority purchase.
Battery function has been found to decrease during the winter. A battery needs to be in top condition to perform when it gets cold out. Warmer temperatures may not affect the power of your battery negatively, even if the battery is wearing down. Battery life is optimal in the spring and summer. An aging battery might still work for a decent length of time when the climate is optimal. Take your battery to be tested before the cold weather sets in. Replace the battery if it shows signs of wearing down. A quick freeze could easily keep your battery from responding on a wintery morning.
The odds of becoming involved in a vehicle emergency rise during inclement weather. Winter brings more than just cold. Storms, ice, and power outages affect driving conditions in many ways. Prepare an emergency kit to keep in the car during the winter months. Fill this kit with essentials to keep yourself warm, in case you have to wait for help with the car off. Pack enough blankets to provide each passenger with one. Jumper cables, phone chargers, and snacks may all come in handy. It can be a good idea to also add a flashlight and flares to aid in attracting help and keeping your car visible to other traffic. If you regularly experience severe snow and ice, a shovel and de-icing agent may be necessary. Think through your normal driving routes and plan accordingly.
Car fluid replenishment is a regular part of maintenance. These should be kept current during all weather conditions. It can be beneficial to schedule routine maintenance near the colder months. This will ensure proper fluid levels throughout the season. Antifreeze is a main component necessary to prevent the engine from freezing. Once proper amounts are determined, check for leaks. A small leak can remove enough antifreeze to leave your engine at risk. Have a thorough inspection of all fluids when winter is approaching.
Certain risks are more prevalent during cold weather. Safety issues can arise when the temperature drops and inclement weather arises. Preparation is the best way to prevent issues from arising. Keep emergency items on hand and visit your mechanic prior to the winter season. Winter car care can be easy and efficient.